So far The Level has been one cliché after another – Detective Sergeant Nancy Devlin is a decorated police officer, but she’s also protecting her schoolfriend’s father, dodgy haulier Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister). Now he’s apparently dead, his mistress is in a coma, and Nancy’s in the frame after taking a bullet.
She’s made the mistake of buying antibiotics online, and of course they haven’t worked; but sympathetic friend Hayley, Le Saux’s daughter, patches her up.
Colleague Gunner is still suspicious, though; does he hold the CCTV footage which could implicate Nancy? Or is it her boss, Newman?
Nancy is reluctantly pulled into a live TV appeal for witnesses, designed to put pressure on Frank’s wife Cherie; she’s convincingly teary, but is this grief, or as we suspect, guilt? Newman puts pressure on Cherie over a payment to dodgy accountant Kettler, but she claims it was for child support.
Then Nancy is sent a CD containing the missing CCTV footage; but who sent it to her, and why?
Kettler is busy burning incriminating paperwork, while Cherie Le Saux is having a heart-to-heart with her daughter Hayley about her failed marriage.
A face from Nancy’s past, ex-junkie Shay Nash (Joe Absolom) contacts Nancy, apparently just to bait her; or does he know something about Hayley? We don’t find out this week, so Shay’s role must certainly become more significant in the weeks to come.
Le Saux’s mistress Delia comes out of her coma, and offers information about a mysterious deal with Eagle Repairs boss Duncan Elliott, and a warning to Nancy that dangerous forces are now at work.
Elliot’s company would be an ideal contact for drug smuggling; so what’s his tie-up with Gunner and with Nancy’s dad, who investigated an arson attack at Eagle ten years previously? The two are seen plotting together. Is his middle name really Gunner, as he claims? Surely if he has Nordic antecedents, it would be ‘Gunnar’? We reckon he’s lying about that for some reason.
Le Saux’s driver Darryl (Lorne MacFadyen) opens up to Hayley about his relationship with Le Saux and his autistic son Tate, and the two embark on a probably ill-advised affair. Darryl gives us one of those little half-smiles meant to indicate that he’s actually a psychopath, so he’s one to watch.
Then Nancy’s mysterious persecutor phones Delia’s hospital, works out that she wasn’t the witness to Le Saux’s shooting, and sends Nancy a threatening text. Hayley realises that Nancy’s injury was from a bullet, and naturally wonders what she was doing at the scene. The two share a few home truths about Nancy’s relationship with Le Saux, who offered her a safe haven when she was a vulnerable teenager and her parents were rowing, so we come to a better understanding of her motivations to help him.
Gunner and Kevin spot dodgy Kettler and follow him to a warehouse; Nancy meanwhile tracks the phone sending her texts to the same location. Gunner disappears, and Kettler is found shot – but whodunnit, and how will Nancy explain her presence?
This week’s episode doesn’t advance the plot much; Kettler was fairly obviously a red herring, implicated in dodgy company dealings, but probably not the mastermind behind the attacks on Le Saux and Delia. We’re still convinced that Le Saux will come back from the dead in Episode 3, though this week we saw more of Philip Glenister in the Uswitch ad in the break.
Anyone any the wiser as to why it’s called The Level? We can only assume it’s a reference to the Brighton park of the same name. If so, we know where the big reveal is going to take place, but will anyone be more shocked than Nancy when Le Saux turns out to be alive?
For our episode one review, go here